Boy’s broken neck – level 3

14-10-2015 15:00

Surgeons in Australia have successfully reattached a toddler’s head to his neck in what doctors have called a medical miracle.

“The second I pulled him out I knew that.. I knew that his neck was broken. It is a miracle!”

Doctors in Brisbane carried out the procedure on 16-month-old Jaxon Taylor after he was in a near-fatal crash with his mother and sister. According to local media, Jaxon’s head separated from his neck in the crash, an injury known as an “internal decapitation”.

He was airlifted to hospital where a team of surgeons performed the six-hour surgery to reattach the head to the spine.

The doctor leading the team, known as Australia’s “godfather of spinal surgery”, used a halo device to hold his skull still while reattaching his vertebrae using a tiny piece of wire.

“A lot of children wouldn’t survive that injury in the first place and if they did and they were resuscitated they may never move or breathe again”.

Jaxon will have to wear the brace over his head for eight weeks to help the tissues and nerves connecting his head to his spine to heal.

Difficult words: toddler (a very young child who is just learning to walk), fatal (deadly), decapitation (to decapitate is to cut someone’s head off), halo (a circle), device (a thing), vertebra singular vertebrae plural (one of the small hollow bones down the centre of your back), tiny (very small), resuscitate (to make someone breathe again after he or she has almost died), brace (something that is used to strengthen or support something).



News in Levels is designed to teach you 3000 words in English. Please follow the instructions

How to improve your English with News in Levels: 


  1. Do the test at Test Languages.
  2. Go to your level. Go to Level 1 if you know 1-1000 words. Go to Level 2 if you know 1000-2000 words. Go to Level 3 if you know 2000-3000 words.


  1. Read two news articles every day.
  2. Read the news articles from the day before and check if you remember all new words.


  1. Listen to the news from today and read the text at the same time.
  2. Listen to the news from today without reading the text.


  1. Answer the question under today’s news and write the answer in the comments.


  1. Choose one person from the Skype section.
  2. Talk with this person. You can answer questions from Speak in Levels.


Stock images by Depositphotos